Perth Glory’s Chris Ikonomidis will miss the upcoming friendly international with Korea Republic after scans revealed damage to his shoulder would require surgery.
Caltex Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold said it was unfortunate, but after consultation with the club and the player, it was decided it would be in Chris’ best long term interests to have the surgery immediately.
“Chris injured his shoulder earlier in the season and after seeing a specialist in Sydney this week it was decided surgery was required to improve the prospect of a full recovery. It is important for the Socceroos and for his club that he addresses this now and his shoulder is right for the commencement of the new season.”
“With the first round of World Cup qualifiers commencing in September and the Hyundai A-League kicking off in October, now is the right time to address it,” he said.
After a six-year absence from the Caltex Socceroos, Western Sydney Wanderers striker Mitchell Duke has been called in as his replacement.
Duke has the opportunity to add to his four international caps. He made his debut in 2013 against Korea Republic and last played for Australia in the same year against Brazil.
“Mitch has shown us what he is capable of since returning from Japan in January. He made a big impact at Western Sydney Wanderers, scoring four times in 10 appearances. He is no stranger to the national team set up and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do during this camp,” he said.
Graham Arnold also welcomed former Socceroo and Australian Under 17 coach, Tony Vidmar to his coaching staff for the duration of this upcoming camp.
“We are fortunate to have someone of Tony’s experience join us in South Korea. As soon as I heard he was available, I called him and he jumped at the opportunity,” he said.
The international friendly against Korea Republic will be played on Friday, 7 June in Busan and will be Australia’s first senior men’s international since the completion of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.
Australia will discover its opponents for the first phase of qualifiers in July, and will play FIFA World Cup preliminary fixtures on the road to Qatar at home and abroad in September, October, and November 2019.
Australia’s match against Korea Republic will kick-off at 8pm local time (9pm AEST), and will be broadcast live in Australia on FOX SPORTS and Network 10 (10 Bold).